This was posted on another site in regards to Brian Miller whose latest news I posted earlier below.========================================================
........I am a Vietnam Era veteran (both parents were wartime vets, as is my brother and most other male relatives and ancestors); we all joined. I’m now disabled, and the only war zone I was sent to was East Oakland. I worked ambulance there and in other places for over a decade, and I have worked under sniper fire. I’ve worked with police at least half of my working life from the EMS side. I’m also a lifelong martial artist, and started training informally (while they were cross-training) with Seals at age 15. I grew up on military bases, then served on them myself. I was also a Senior electronics and mechanical design drafter in the Aerospace industry.
........I reject the argument that only cops can judge other cops. Per other cops, however, like Norm Stamper, former chief of police in Seattle (during the 1999 WTO conference) has said that there is an alarming increase in conditioning of police to view “civilians” as The Enemy. Agents provocateur have been caught at such venues throwing rocks, bottles, starting fires etc. to provide an excuse for an ARMY of black clad, heavily armed, armored militarized cops to attack even the most peaceful crowds. “Free Speech Zones” are constructed well away from any wealthy and powerful people who might otherwise have to hear or see protesters (I don’t remember Free Speech Zones being mentioned in the Constitution, either). Injury or death from police, very often police with no identifying badges or anything else so that people don’t know they’re police, is getting far out of hand and increasing as many officers have come to think they can give citizens ANY order and expect to be obeyed instantly, else they’re justified in a violent attack on the citizen. In fact, too many cops seem to think that a lack of abject groveling is “disrespect,” and grounds for attacking the person. And as with this case, no matter how egregious the violence visited on an innocent citizen, police are not held accountable for what would be first degree murder by anyone else.
The Executive has claimed powers even kings didn’t have in murdering citizens, and Intel agencies are virtually unbound in who they can spy on, when and how, while a citizen who dares try to film a cop in the act of performing what he conceives to be his duty is being criminalized, and cops are almost routinely stealing and destroying such evidence. Jefferson said that for clarification of the Constitution, always look first to the Declaration of Independence. When the phrase, “…All men are created equal,” was penned, then, since the Constitution itself put no limitations on rights, I’ve always believed that not just American citizens but anyone in our custody (and perhaps those especially!) had the rights enumerated in the Constitution and in other law in America. If not, then the Constitution and the Declaration were just so much drivel and worthless paper. Those rights belong to human beings, period!
Among other things the Executive has mentioned lately is the need for military to “help out in the case of civil unrest” and other such things. That would be illegal per Posse Comitatus; cops who are armed, dressed, trained and conditioned exactly like military – an occupying army by any realistic definition – is NOT illegal because they’re still being CALLED cops. The core missions of military and police are 180 degrees different, though. Military are taught to protect themselves and their buddies first; they’re also taught to KILL. That’s what they do. When cops are militarized, the ones who would have put themselves between a citizen and a bullet, those who really believed in “To protect and to serve” are ready to shoot first, just in case and no matter where any extra bullets happen to go. That’s part of WHY the military doesn’t do police work.
SWAT teams are military. Call ‘em whatever you like, but they’re damned well DEADLY, and they’re being VASTLY overused! SWAT teams need to be drastically cut back and their former members should be given the choices of becoming real military, retraining for police work as COPS, not pseudo-military, or finding other work! A man legally owns a firearm so that makes him a potential danger and SWAT must be used? How many Americans are killed every year because someone lied to get a warrant or went to the wrong damned house? Hundreds at the very LEAST! And what response other than grabbing a weapon to meet unknown home invaders – especially after his wife’s family’s experience – does anyone expect at that time of day and under those circumstances? That Guerena DIDN’T fire shows how well trained he was! That the cops DID open fire (and I never heard that “accidental” first shot, btw, or a shouted “ID”) also says something about their training and mind set. And as always there were lies by the police involved that were straightened out one by one, finally – with no consequences.
The finding that the SWAT team was not at fault – with the wrong warrant, (wasn’t this a wrong address again too?), spraying bullets all over a residential neighborhood, entering incorrectly so most of them were blinded to the indoors, the door to which they were blocking… Come on! This was a long chain of error after error, starting with using SWAT for this in the first place. It’s a sickening incident that is happening more and more frequently in this country when it should only EVER happen in a dictatorship! Think about THAT for a minute!
Letting him lie there and bleed out for over an hour until he finally died before allowing a paramedic near him, however, was murder, the ultimate CYA that has always put the best witness beyond questioning and any inconvenient answers. There is no other word, no other motivation, no possible excuse.
The errors were not Guerena’s, and Mr. Miller should be applauded for wanting a better outcome or at least an honest discussion of what went wrong instead of the official whitewashing by Those In Power. Attacking him for not being another mindless, nodding bobbleheaded follower says a lot about the local Republicans, I’m afraid, and NONE of it is good! Until this head-in-the-sand whitewash and then the attack on the one man who dared to question it, this didn’t necessarily reflect badly on the rest of the police or the area; it’s something that is happening too frequently all over the country. NOW, however, you’d better believe it reflects badly – on all of you! At a time when the Drug War is finally coming to be seen as the propaganda and profit-driven, wrong-headed war on the public it is, this stands out as an egregious misuse of power TWICE: first, when SWAT was used for such a purpose, and second, when every official in the county save one honest man acted like a cat trying to cover up on linoleum – with about as much success.